02 October 2018

Artist Point

Anytime I see a place on the map titled, "Artist Point", I put it on my list of places to visit.  It probably indicates a great view. 

In all the years that I have lived in Washington State, I have never been to Mount Baker.  On top of Mount Baker, at the very end of the highway is Artist Point.  As this summer drifted past, I kept thinking that it was time to go.  Partly because I wanted to take scenic pictures but mostly to go where I have never gone before.

The wife got tied up with some meetings and other events one week so I decided it was time for a short road trip.  So I packed my gear and headed out the door alone.  I generally don't mind going places alone.  I just turn on the radio, adjust my speed, set the cruise control and let the miles roll away.  I often find it nice to be just cruising with no mindless chatter interrupting my thoughts.  The wife understands that and I appreciate her all the more.

So on Day 1, I rolled north to Bellingham.  I stopped at the Costco for gas and then headed to the Holiday Inn to check in.  It's become quite a joke between the wife and I about how we plan our road trips around the locations of Holiday Inns and Costco gas stations.

I checked in at the front desk at 1:30 but the rooms weren't ready.  So I asked for a room assignment and would return later.  The front desk was very pleasant, gave me my keys, and welcomed me to Bellingham. I then headed back out the door, got into my truck, and headed for Mount Baker.

From the hotel, I got back on to I-5 heading South.  I got off at the very next exit for Hwy 542.

Hwy 542 quickly turns into a single lane highway.  Traffic is light so I didn't mind it at all.  The sun was starting to get lower and the light was changing to golden hues.  I quickly passed thru small towns like Deming, Kendall, Maple Falls, Warnick and Glacier.

90 minutes after leaving the hotel I was driving past the Mount Baker ski area.  I was just minutes away from Artist Point.  I made my first stop.

This is a picture of Mount Shuksan from Picture Lake.

5 minutes later I was at Artist Point.  The sun was barely over the distant mountain but I still had a lot of light.  I spotted a hiking trail leading off from the parking lot, grabbed my camera and pack and wandered off.

Day 1 was winding down.  It was time to head back to the hotel.

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